Esther Mlebinge

Headshot of Ester Miebinge

When she was twenty years old, Esther lost her brother to warfare in her native country Democratic Republic of Congo. Esther fled DRC to a refugee camp in Tanzania, where she lived for 17 years. According to Esther, life was difficult in the camp – it was hard to earn money or get sufficient food for her family. She arrived Read More »

Helping Hands and a Heart of Gold

Beatrice holding a toddler

Meet Beatrice Nyiramutuzo from Congo We can’t say enough nice things about Beatrice. She has a smile that can captivate a room. She’s kind and smart and dedicated to her family. She’s beautiful inside and out, and Boise is lucky to have her. When Beatrice arrived in the Treasure Valley in 2011, she had three kids—an 8-year-old son, a 4-year-old Read More »

Reflections on life and owning a childcare business during the pandemic

Headshot of Laylo Hamud

We had a chance to sit down with the dynamic, energetic Laylo Hamud from Somalia. It’s always a pleasure to hear her perspective on life, owning a business and keeping family close. Being a business owner during the pandemic In 2009, Laylo arrived in Boise from Kenya, where she’d been living in a refugee camp for 18 years. She started Read More »

Cooking his way to a brighter future


Meet Ratna Subba from Nepal Ratna Subba is the owner of the food truck Darjeeling Momo. He has an infectious smile and makes you feel at ease the moment you’re around him. He was born in Bhutan but fled from the country to Nepal with his mother and sisters in 1992 when he was 7. Like many other refugees from Read More »

A Small loan Can Make a Big Difference.

Emergency Loans - John smiling

2020 was a hard year for a lot of people, including John. After losing his partner, John was barely able to cover his monthly expenses. He had no one to lean on with the exception of his dog, who provided consummate love and support. Then, John’s dog fell ill very suddenly. In a desperate attempt to keep his companion alive Read More »

The Road Ahead

Gisma Hassan smiling

Gisma arrived in the United States with her three children only a year ago. She faced many challenges to start her new life here as a single mother with no family support in the US. Within a year of arriving in the U.S she was working full time. However Gisma did not know how to drive and did not own Read More »

Overcoming Challenges and Keeping Family First

Mulisa Teta reading to 3 children

Meet Mulisa from DRC Everything single-mom Mulisa does, she does for her family. She’s a devoted mother of four boys; her youngest is 16 and the oldest is 24. “I love raising boys,” she says. “My family is everything to me.” Mulisa, who is from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), came to Idaho in 2014. “We feel safer here,” Read More »

Building a Strong Family and Childcare Business

Etando Kasomo smiles with children

Meet Etando Etando has a smile that lights up a room. She has a big personality and an even bigger heart. Her enthusiasm and sparkling personality come in handy as she raises her own six children and cares for the kids in her childcare business. Etando and her husband have five girls and one boy. Her oldest is 19 and Read More »

Small Loan Helps Create Opportunity

Emergency Loans - Jacob grinning

Applicants for emergency EO loan funds, like Jacob, often come to us in a state of rebuilding. After completing a period of incarceration, Jacob worked full-time at a fast food restaurant until he was injured. The injury forced him to take a leave of absence. Jacob had a place to live at a halfway house, however the loss of income Read More »

A life-changing loan

Emergency Loans - Susan smiling

Nearing 80 years old, Susan found herself falling into a financial hole. After a predatory mortgage tore through Susan’s finances, she found herself experiencing homelessness for the first time in her life. Her only income was her social security, and she did not have a safety net. Unable to find a place to move into due to credit problems, Susan Read More »